Stable Talk A morning with Dominic Ffrench Davis by Liam Headd, with photos by Phil Cannings

High View Stables trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis believes Indeed could be the ‘superstar’ he has waiting for during his career.

Having been a trainer since 1994, Ffrench Davis has trained many different horses in his time, but winning a high-profile race is something he has yet to do.

“We’re all still waiting for a superstar,” said Ffrench Davis. “We have had some good horses in the past and we have won some nice races, but we have never won a high-profile race so we’re hoping Indeed might be the one to do it.

“I want to train as many winners as I can. We have had horses placed in listed races and group races, but we’re yet to have a winner in one.

“We have some lovely two-year-olds and it’ll be great to win with most of them and have some nice horses to look forward to next year.”

Dominic with stable star 'Indeed'

Last time out, in the Spring Cup at Newbury in April, Indeed ran a terrific race, finishing second [priced at 50/1] behind Chatez. And, with the four-year-old being one of Ffrench Davis’ stars, he will be hoping the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot on June 19 can be a target.

“He is a bit ground-dependent,” he admitted. “I don’t say he won’t win on good ground, but I think we’ll see his best performance when there is juice in the ground. However, if the ground isn’t right we won’t go.”

Paul Clark and 'Jim 'N' Tomic'

“I think the best thing would be for him to go and win a Novice or a Maiden to give him a bit of confidence in the latter part of the season," says Ffrench Davis. "In the back of my mind, it’s always good to go to Ascot and he is qualified to run in the Chesham Stakes, but we’ll see.”

Ffrench Davis began his racing career working under Paul Cole and David Elsworth, praising both of them for their guidance.

“I learn a lot from both trainers, but they are very different and both very successful in their own way. I worked with some fantastic horses. I remember with Paul when we broke a Group 1 winner in Knight's Baroness, who won the Irish Oaks (1990) and also Generous, who won the Derby (1991).”

“With David, it was brilliant,” said Ffrench Davis. “We had a horse called In The Groove who won four Group 1 races in a season and was a top filly in her generation. I know what a top horse looks like when it comes a long, and we’re hoping one will come along here.”

Dominic with wife Avery

The trainer has recently moved to High View stables, from Upshire, taking over from Tom Dascombe – who moved to Cheshire.

“This place became available and I had a look at it and I thought it was ideally positioned. It’s far enough away from the gallops, but they get a get good exercise on the way to them.

“It’s high enough up so there is a great air circulating around the yard and it looked like it would be a healthy yard and it has proven to be one.

“The horses are very happy here, and so are the staff,” he said. “Everyone is settled in well, and we had a winner from the yard within the few weeks of moving – which settles things,” he added.

Stable lad Gareth Courtney

Loyalty is a big thing in life, and it’s no different when in sport and horseracing. Gareth Courtney can certainly relate to that, having been working with trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis for 20 years.

“It is a happy yard and the boss and Avery are great people,” he said. “I have seen many people come and go. I am always the last man standing. It’s a friendly environment really. I treat them like family now and Ben [Dominic’s son] I treat like a little brother, so it’s good fun.

“I came here when I was 16-year-old. I am a Port Talbot boy and I had spent four years with John Hills where I had a couple of rides."

And, having been working with Ffrench Davis for the majority of his life, the stable lad believes Indeed is one of the leading contenders from the High View stables.

“For me, he is the best that the boss has trained,” admitted Courtney. “Without question, I said it before he ran at Newbury and I stick to my guns. He is the best-trained. He gives you some feel and hopefully he can be the highest-rated horse that we’ll have.”


Photos by Phil Cannings

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